HC Deb 09 March 1853 vol 124 cc1346-8

Order for Committee read. House in Committee.

Clause 22 agreed to.

Clause 23.


said, he begged to move an Amendment in Clause 23, page 12, line 31, after "Act," to insert "in respect of the classes of improvement marked in Clause 8 of this Act, by the numbers 1, 2, 4, 6, 8." If his Amendment were agreed to, he believed that the operations of the Bill might be made to extend to a very much poorer description of land than that which it would if the clause remained unaltered; and it seemed to him that the interests of all classes interested in land were now-a-days so clearly defined and protected by law, that no one could have any objection to seeing land of the least valuable kind open, at all events, to receive the benefits of the Bill, more especially as it was entirely of a permissive character. The description of land to which his observations had reference, was not, in its present state, worth more than 4s. or 5s. an acre; and, consequently, under the clause as it stood the expenditure should be confined to 1l., whereas a smaller expenditure than 4l. or 5l. would produce no effect. He begged, therefore, to move that no limitation of expenditure should be applied to those cases.


said, he considered that the Amendment, if adopted, would alter the whole principle of the Bill, and therefore he must object to it.


said, he considered that as the Bill now before the House was based upon an Act which had been found to work most successfully in Ireland, its provisions ought to be strictly adhered to; and the more so, as there were other Bills to come before the House having for their object the encouragement of land improvement in that country, and by means of which the wishes of the hon. and gallant Member (Colonel Greville) would in all likelihood be carried out.


said, there were large quantities of improvable land in Ireland, and it would be well to afford some incentive for their improvement.


argued, at some length, in support of the Amendment, insisting that the 36th Clause of the Bill, as it then stood, invested the Commissioners of Public Works with an unlimited power to increase compulsorily, to any extent, the rent of a tenant whose holding might be improved, even against his will, by the landlord. He contended that if this principle of compulsory valuation wore to be applied in favour of an improving landlord, against an occupying tenant, it would follow, as a just consequence, that it should also be introduced to the same unlimited extent in favour of the tenant, into the Landlord and Tenant Bills, which were now before the Select Committee. The present Bill was one which ought, in his opinion, for several reasons, to have been also referred to the same Committee; but, at all events, the principle of an unlimited compulsory valuation, in favour of the landlord, which was clearly involved in the 36th Clause, was one that should not be introduced in this House without full deliberation and discussion.


said, he would withdraw the Amendment.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 36.


said, he wished to add at the end of this clause the following Proviso:— Provided always, that the said increased rent to be so fixed by the said Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland shall not exceed the sum of 5l. annually for each 100l. so laid out under the provisions of this Act; and that the tenant in occupation, if he feels himself aggrieved by the decision of the said Commissioners of Public Works, may appeal to the assistant barrister at quarter sessions in all eases when the said increased rent shall not exceed 50l. a year; or in cases when the increased rent exceeds 50l. a year, then to one of the superior courts of law in Ireland, whose decision in each case shall be deemed final and conclusive.


said, he thought this would be a dangerous Amendment to introduce into the Bill. He had known cases in which the money laid out was repaid in the course of two years; and if this limitation was adopted, the only effect of it, in many cases, would be that the landlord would not lay out the money.


said, he was opposed to the clause, considering that its effect would be to expose landlords to vexatious litigation.


said, he would suggest the following proviso to the Amendment: "Provided always that the said increased rent shall not exceed the sum of 5l. annually for cach 100l. so laid out under the provisions of this Act, unless otherwise-agreed upon by the landlord and tenant."


said, he would recommend that both the Amendment and the Proviso should be withdrawn, and that the power of appeal should be given both to the landlord and tenant against the decision of the Commissioners of Public Works.

Amendment and Proviso, by leave, withdrawn.

The House resumed.